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looking for some pointers

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself to the Community' started by datank450, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    This is my first year ever at this. I installed a Meyers plow on a F450, now im lost, don't know what I should do. I went out plowing the other day for the first time, ended up getting a commercial contract, didn't know what I was doing but I think I did a good job negotiating the contract and I went as far as to make the property representative sign a disclaimer. from what I read, you absolutely have to cover your ass. But anyway, Im on the hunt for jobs and I came across a company looking to sub me out for snow removal. It seem like in their contract I would be obligated to be ready to move on their jobs when it snows. Am I jumping the gun on trying to find work? Not to mention I would not get paid till 30 days after invoice. Am I gonna be able to find work when it snows, will it be effective to travel to big snowstorms to make money in dig outs??? Should I stay in my town, sub myself out, or travel around? I just paid for some internet ads and don't really know if that will pull anything in till it starts snowing. any kind of advice would help. I am also licensed, insured and incorporated so Im ready for business.
     
  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Wow.....

    I've always got plan B,C, and D in place in case of extreme circumstances before taking on any accounts.

    Good Luck.....


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  3. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I hear you on that, Im trying to get a plan together. Its a per push contract paid in advance. whats a good thing to do other than taking on accounts?
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Make sure you have large equipment lined up for the one in five year storm.

    Once you can't deliver, it's all over with.




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  5. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I gotchu bud. I wouldn't have a f450 if I didn't have the equipment to handle the job.
     
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    But what happens when you have 20' drifts that are packed as hard as hard as concrete and an F-450 won't budge it. I've got a C3500HD (equivalent to a 450) that wouldn't have done crap against some snow drifts we've seen.

    Been there and done that, and had a sub ready on hand to get those places opened up for us with a backhoe.....

    Trucks are trucks, loaders are loaders. You've got to have a worst case scenario plan in place. Once you get all these commercial accounts, that's great. But when you get the one in 5 year storm that separate the men from the boys, then that's when you'll shine as long as you have the proper equipment to handle it. Those storms make or break snow removal "proffesionals"..

    And don't think you can just go rent the equipment to do it. 14 days before our blizzard a couple of years ago, all the equipment was spoken for by all the professionals that saw the storm coming 20 days in advance.




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    Last edited: Dec 25, 2013
  7. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    That's music to my ears, I believe a bobcat 873 and a mini excavator 334 with a 36" bucket + 1 ton dump should keep me running with the best of them. So if that's what you mean about plan B, C and D I think I got it covered.
     
  8. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I do concrete driveways, patios, sidewalks, steps, etc... Im not afraid to try to move a little bit of snow. just looking for some fundamentals on how to start making some dough.
     
  9. peteo1

    peteo1 PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,660

    This is some good advice. As far as being a sub, you're on call pretty much all winter. If it snows, you plow and your genera will make the call as to when you go out.
     
  10. dieselss

    dieselss PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,977

    Sub out with the other company. Get your feet wet if by a year or two you feel like u understand it, go out on your own. A 450 or a 1500 don't mean anything unless you know how to use it, and you have that plan. C d and e f g in place
     
  11. kranker022

    kranker022 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    I think when someone is starting out.. that subbing is not a bad idea. Still look for your own work, but in my experience when I first started was that I only got the small and medium parking lots where they only wanted snow done when it was finished. So I would sub for some one doing the accounts that would have 1 or 2 inch triggers so I had work to do while the storm is falling instead of having to get everything done once it finished. Sure getting paid in 30 days sucks, but its still better than doing nothing. Also, don't plow for anyone at an hourly rate unless its at huge complexes. I only sub for companies that have a set price for every push, and again I can hit them 2 or 3 times in a storm and then go hit all mine at night once its finished. Of course, the only bind you run into is the quick clippers that end at 4 in the morning and you gotta get everything opened up.
     
  12. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    You failed to mention the extra equipment.

    Just start of small, take on smaller, more profitable accounts (per square foot) before getting into larger lots, that are more money but less per square foot.

    I think the subbing idea is a great one. In my first year of business I did this for another guy until I started gaining more accounts and traction.



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  13. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    Am I missing something? What the worst case scenario??? When I made the choice to get into this field I knew there could be a high possibility that I may slide over a cliff. I also get myself into the same risky situations involved with the removal of concrete. I know how to run my equipment very efficiently. As far making money, I don't know whats gonna be more affective, I don't know if it would be smart to pass on the sub work, and if I pass does anybody think it would be hard to find jobs when the storm hits? would I be stupid to think some guys may get too busy and not able to all of there jobs, is it affective to look for untouched lots and pounce on them. I don't really wanna tie myself down to a company like that but I wanna make sure I make the money back that I put out for this rig.
    As far as worst case scenarios, what kinda shenanigans can I get myself into other than the obvious? what should I worry about?
     
  14. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Seems like you have the equipment covered. More than most do to start out at least. As mentioned before, I feel like it is best to start small, like doing some sub work til you get more used to how things work. I personally would not travel, that never really works out. Id stay local and sub at first, and then make the move to your own accounts after a year or so.

    And lastly, do a lot of reading on this site, but be careful. There is a TON of good advice, but yet there is also some bad advice.
     
  15. kranker022

    kranker022 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    If you find the right sub work, I am pretty convinced you will make more money subbing than knocking on business doors asking if they want it done. They beauty of it too is that you can still go knock when your done subbing because most the time you will be done before businesses open up. Also, if you get with a good company that has their lots priced right, they are only keeping usually 20% or so off the plow price and making the money off of sending their sidewalk crews and salting. So you don't even have to get out of the truck and although your only getting maybe 80% of the money for the job, that 80% is probably still more money than your going to get knocking on doors and undercutting prices to get work.

    And one last thing in regards to the 30 day wait for payment... a lot of us with commercial contracts wait longer than that sometimes. You do a few storms in early December...can't bill until jan1st.. and then they take sometimes up to a month to send a check.
     
  16. quigleysiding

    quigleysiding PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,098

    This late in the year most sites are already contracted out. You might be able to get some sub work from your town or the state plowing roads. Some pay well. At least you won"t have to worry about getting burnt for the cash. A lot of subs get burnt. You read about it every year on this site.
     
  17. datank450

    datank450 Senior Member
    Messages: 139

    I bought the plow and V hopper this year, just got everything mounted, might I ad that I did the installation myself. Im not very mechanical but seems easy if you follw the directions, so im super happy I got the job done and its finished like a professional did the installation. But anyway, I never thought the removal of snow was that big. Should I look into using all my equipment in the removal of snow? Its seems like having the truck rigged up to push snow is not all that important as being able to clear out. If I sign as a sub I may be missing out on a big chunk of dough. would it be affective to get ahold of some guys that don't have the clear out cababilities. A buddy of mine said he made his start by going from businesses that look untouched. 5 ton of salt in the lot to start and a full tank o fuel, is this scenario unrealistic??? I can make a guarantied $65 an hour for the sub, or I can try to wing it.
     
  18. kranker022

    kranker022 Junior Member
    Messages: 14

    Eh... your completely missing my advice. Go wing it. Unsubscribed.
     
  19. Jguck25

    Jguck25 Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    you cartainly could use all of the equipment, like the skid with a pusher on a lot , but you dont have to get it all work. I think Whitegardens just meant you need it to be prepared just incase you get that freak storm and cannot get the lots cleared with the truck, you need a skid or tractor to come in to remove the snow. I live in the Northeast where we get some very big storms, and I can honestly say, although I am prepared for that situation, I have NEVER needed to. You could do removal only, but you may only get one time a year that that needs to be done on the average lot. There may be some lots that need it every storm, but most of those get taken up by companies that are already prepared for that
     
  20. White Gardens

    White Gardens 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Bingo....

    We had our one in 10 year storm for us in 2012. 12" of snow, which isn't a lot in it itself, but is the max generally for our area. On top of it, the wind blew at 20mph making drifts, packed super tight, at 20+ feet tall.

    Had a larger account with a 4 acre roof (that all blew off and packed against the building), and 5 acre lot. If, I hadn't had a sub lined up with a backhoe and Ag tractor, there was no way I would have gotten it cleared myself.

    But, the only reason we took that lot was because I had a sub lined up and on call for the bigger storms.

    As for knocking on doors with lots that don't look to have been plowed, it might work, but it will be rare. Your buddy might have found a good point in the market that there wasn't enough quality plow guys to go around.

    I'm willing to say now that markets are saturated, most lots have secured services at the beginning of the season, and the lots you do find that aren't serviced correctly are probably horrible accounts to begin with that you really don't want.

    What I would do is try to be a sub this season, then about middle of summer next year, start being a salesman and go around dropping of cards and fliers to be contacted for bidding.

    That's the most effective way to have a positive affective action on your well being.....

    Please, for future reference, you are asking seasoned veterans on this site for advice. Take it for what it's worth, take a little something from everyone that might help you out, and disregard the rest. And please don't be argumentative right out of the gate or you aren't going to get any advice.

    Just ask birdseeded. ;)



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